“The Toyota has stopped at the end of the turn lane short of the entrance to the gym, Chopper 1 reporting.”
I hoped that none of the new guys at the gym had itchy trigger fingers and would wait until something started before responding.
“The Toyota is making a u-turn pulling back on to RT 301 north. The vans are less than 200 yards behind it,” Chopper 1reporting.
They were 6 miles away if they stayed on RT 301 and did not take the RT 50 at the split. A nervous waiting game was afoot. I called the guys together for last minute instructions.
“If they turn into the lane stay behind the cars, if they ram the cars get away from them – don’t get crushed between them,” I said.
Then they took their positions again. I stayed with Andy at the last car before my Suburban.
“They are a mile from Morton Airport lane. They have pulled off to the side of the road; we are well back using binoculars to look at them. We should be just a tiny speck to them,” Chopper 1 reporting.
“The vans are moving again and at high speed, two persons are staying with the car,” Chopper1reporting.
“They are turning onto Morton Lane,” Chopper 1 reporting.
“Stay with the car Chopper 1,” I said into the radio.
While I was talking on the radio a dump truck pulled up behind my Suburban and stopped inches from it waiting for directions.
The three vans made the turn so fast I thought they were going to roll over. I could hear the engines screaming as they picked up speed. The front van must have had several people in it. At least two guns came out the passenger window and started firing.
The vans moved to the centerline and slammed into the parked security cars spinning them out of the way. All of us had moved away from the cars and onto the edge of the drainage ditch that ran along the road just in time. The vans were jammed together, one pushing the other.
The shooting had stopped in the first and second van. They were riddled with bullet holes from us but they were still moving ahead at least 40 miles an hour.
The driver of the dump truck jumped out and dove into the drainage ditch beside the road just as the vans slammed into the Suburban and shoved it back into the dump truck.
Then there was a massive explosion from all three vans. The blast destroyed all the vehicles including the dump truck in a huge ball of fire. The air blast blew Andy, Melvin and me into the drainage ditch milliseconds before fire and steel blew over top of us. Red hot shards of the vehicles were falling on and around us.
We crawled down the ditch towards the terminal building. As soon as we were away from the heat we climbed out of the ditch and back on road. At nearly the same time Chris and Horace came out of the other ditch. Luckily both ditches were dry.
All of us were bruised and had small cuts that were bleeding. I was amazed that all of us still had our weapons but glad because they needed to be accounted for during the investigation.
I still had my radio mike clipped to my shoulder. I keyed the mike, “Call 911, roll the fire department, warn them of the possibility of explosives on Morton Lane,” I said into the mike.
“Chopper 1 stay with the car. Call the 911 center with location updates,” I said.
I called Eric, “You can come pick up what’s left of the vans; they are blown up on Morton Lane.”
“Carson, bring us some first aid kits; you will see us before the gate in the road,” I said into the radio again.
Since it was going to be a media fiasco I called Hanna Page, “Terrorist attack at Morton Field.”
“We heard the explosion and can see the smoke. I have left C-ville – I’m on my way,” she replied. Hanna had been flexible to my needs – why not give her a scoop.
What a mess, I thought, another KCC Suburban junked, four of Marcy’s cars junked, four new hires with workman’s comp claims the first day on the job. The road to Morton Field closed for who knows how long.
“Will someone bring a good camera and a video recorder?” I said into the phone when Marcy answered it.
Things started happening in groups. The fire truck that the agency kept in their hangar and fire control team was barreling towards us with lights flashing and sirens screaming. I sure hoped the brakes worked on that thing for no more use than it got.
One of the county EMT units that had been at their hangar with their chopper was following the fire truck with its lights and sirens on. Between the explosion and the sirens I was going to be deaf for sure.
In between the rolling smoke I saw Hanna’s tower cam above the tree line taking a live video feed for her station. I expected her and her camera man to pop up out of the ditch at any time.
I could hear the sirens of the fire trucks coming from all directions.
The agency fire truck may not have been gigantic but it was set up to fight aluminum and magnesium that aircraft are made out of. It was pumping heavy duty foam on everything that was burning, starting with the dump truck working towards what was left of the vans. They were hooking it to one of the hydrants – when they ran out of foam, they would have plenty of water.
The EMT’s were to us now. I waved off treatment until they had looked at my four employees. One of the EMT guys handed me a towel and I carefully started cleaning the debris, soot and blood from my face using one of their truck mirrors.
There was a bottle of spring water on the dash – I poured it on the towel to do a better job. I was thankful that there was only a little new blood on the towel when I looked at it.
When I looked up an EMT was standing beside me along with Carson with his kit; they began looking me over. Over his shoulder I saw Hanna and her cameraman standing on the other side of the ditch in the edge of the woods, filming. I almost laughed at the sight; she was wearing what used to be white slacks that were now muddy and torn along with purple Muck boots.
For some reason a melody from an old 60’s hit country song popped into my mind that Dad used to listen to on a cassette tape. “They ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles and they ran through the bushes where ah rabbit wouldn’t go.”
Hanna had definitely been where the rabbits wouldn’t go. I wondered how long she had been standing there and filming.
I asked about my men.
“Minor cuts and bruises – the ditch saved all of you. If you had still been standing when the metal was flying, you would have been cut in half. They refused to go to the hospital for a complete checkup,” the EMT said.
Eric called my cell, “The state police ran the Toyota off the road at the Delaware line. There were two occupants in it; they came out of the car each holding a pipe bomb. Three troopers are in serious condition. You are talking to me so you must be OK,”
“I’m OK, just cuts and bruises, the same for four of my team. All of the terrorists here are dead. They tried to crash through our security checkpoint to get to the terminal building. They detonated the explosives in the vans. We lost four cars, the KCC Suburban and a dump truck,” I replied.
“The agency guys from the hangar are going to start the investigation. The FBI and DHS are on the way,” Eric said.
“I’m sure you understand, but there is only one road into the airport and it is now blocked. In an hour I am going to open that road with a front end loader if I have to. Those guys need to get done what they are going to do and fast,” I replied.
The fire trucks from the surrounding towns had pumped enough water and foam on the inferno that it was just a smoldering mess.
Edit by Alfmeister